Wednesday, February 25, 2009
JELLO BIAFRA with D.O.A. - LAST SCREAM OF THE MISSING NEIGHBORS (1990)
This is truly a holy (or unholy, if you're a fascist) union. Jello and DEAD KENNEDYS (along with FLIPPER and BLACK FLAG) captured my attention and imagination during my formative adolescent years, and helped create the man that is Big Jack as opposed to Assrock Douchebag Skid Row Rules Jack. Some younger GOMIES might not recall times like these, but still fresh in my memory are the days when music info wasn't immediately available. You tried to keep up via scene 'zines and trade mags, but by the time those were printed and distributed, the news was old. Despite being an avid fan of both DEAD KENNEDYS and D.O.A., I had no news of this collaboration until I saw the record in the store. No endcap display, no big cardboard cutout of Biafra advertising his first post-KENNEDYS project, just a record subtlely filed under "B" in the "alternative" section.
The record itself is a legitimate masterpiece, recalling the absolute best of DEAD KENNEDYS and D.O.A., only heavier and more angry. Biafra sounds reborn, and his renewed focus is a perfect match for the almost-metal crunch of D.O.A. There's not a bad note or unnecessary lyric on the entire record, but my personal favorite is "Full Metal Jackoff". Clocking in at 14:00, it can hardly be described as a punk song, but it's my all-time favorite Biafra piece, KENNEDYS or otherwise. Joey Keithley's slow-grind riff is simply a better fit than, say, East Bay Ray's more surf-inspired style. Another highlight is the seemingly unlikely cover of THE ANIMALS' "We Gotta Get Out of This Place". It not only succeeds, but does so with flying colors. Throw in some excellent cover art, compliments of the great Winston Smith, and you've got a bona fide masterpiece.
1. That's Progress
2. Attack of the Peacekeepers
3. Wish I Was in El Salvador
4. Power Is Boring
5. We Gotta Get Out of This Place
6. Full Metal Jackoff